This has been a week. A week of pain, struggle and yet of inspiration and hope. Two things that I hold on to are words spoken by people I admire and respect: First is my Principal who often says that her mantra is”Hope is a choice”. I choose Hope. Another close colleague of mine said, “We are in the midst of two pandemics” and this statement resonated with me. We need to act, we need to understand and we need to be in this work together. Here are three resources that are helping me navigate:
1. Klingenstein Letter on Anti-Oppression CLICK HERE
@WastefreeMarie on Instagram CLICK HERE
In her letter out of Klingenstein, Nicole Brittingham Furlonge, PhD, the Klingenstein Family Chair Professor and Director writes about the significance of this time and sends out a call for action that I hope that we can all heed:
I write to call on each of you, as members of this powerful network of educator-leaders, to join me in committing to anti-oppression work personally and in our schools. Let’s use our individual and collective power to disrupt systems of racism, all oppression, violence, and inequity in our spheres of influence – with our students, our colleagues, in our classrooms, our schools, through our research and scholarship, our pedagogy, our mentorship and ally-ship of others. Together we can lead this change.
I know that many of our schools and faculty may struggle, as I do, with addressing anti-oppression work in the best ways possible. Some may say that our educational system is just not set up for it, here or elsewhere around the world. But it doesn’t mean it can’t be. How might we become anti-oppressive schools – not just integrate the work into our program, but make the program our work?
This is where @wastefreemarie can support this work: I only share two slides from her account, in hopes that you will visit her page HERE
2. Listen to this: Brene Brown’s “Unlocking Us” PodCast:
Incredibly insightful conversation with Ibram X. Kendi, author of “Stamped From the Beginning” speaks his truth. Powerful analogies and language to equip us to understand and build capacity to be anti-racist.
His umbrella analogy is incredibly powerful, and I paraphrase (probably very poorly): That those who are neutral in racism are in a rainstorm, and think that they have an umbrella to keep them dry, but it is the rain that is telling them that they are dry.
So, how do we do this? Seek recognition, seek understand and see Sonder? How might we engage in dialogue that moves beyond judgement? I turn to Edward De Bono’s work, where he posits that the purpose of thinking is to search for familiar patterns, and then to slow or stop our thinking within these patterns to identify a richer seam of dialogue. He has many tools and protocols that I have employed and really enjoyed. How might we make these thinking skills and protocols part of our education?
3. Korn Ferry: 7 Ways Corporate Leaders Can Address D&I Right Now CLICK HERE
This is not a solution, this is not a playbook or even a program, this article tasks us with ways of thinking and being as an organization. It is not an article that is only contextualized in the present and in the now – it is a direction by which to set our compass. The article ends with this:
Many organizations have crafted messages for both internal and external stakeholders about how they are appalled at recent events. But committing to diversity and inclusion means investment in inclusive succession planning, recruitment, development, training, and education—and not relenting. “Every board director, CEO, and C-suite leader should be thinking along these same lines if we are to challenge the status quo,” Parsons says.
These are times that demand us to reflect, and there are many ways of doing so – Peggy Macintosh’s White Knapsack comes to mind – that are important for now and going forward.
Are we to let this racial pandemic pass and miss the opportunity for anti-oppression work. Sadly, the answer is yes – it is possible. But let’s not. Let’s commit to ourselves.
At my home, we are committing to anti-oppression work with our family. We are watching great videos to help us spark conversation, we are listening to music like Doomtree – a rap-music collective from Minnesota, we are reading some excellent books as well. We are committed to raising our kids to be open, anti-oppression, contributing citizens. Now, I commit to the work to educate our students in this way. I will learn and ask questions and listen to understand. When I know more, I’ll do better.